Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bay to Breakers Race Report

Goal:
Top 3 Bay Area (Prize $$)
A Goal:  sub-6:00 pace
B Goal:  sub-5:50 pace

Actual:
2.5M warmup
12K Race in 43:49 for 10th place overall with splits of 540, 555, 635, 603, 542, 530, 530, 2:29
1M cool down 


Can I really say that my "spring season" kicked off with my first race in seven months at Bay to Breakers?  I sure can!  But, let's be real.  I obviously didn't really have a spring season.  Due to many factors, such as getting a minor achilles flare up in mid-January or a two-week trip to Europe or hitting my knee cap on my car console, I didn't up end starting the races I had planned to compete in earlier this spring.  I've also been traveling quite a bit with work, which doesn't typically put a damper on my training, but there's something about the Plano, Texas scenery that really drains every ounce of motivation out of me.  So, yeah, a lot happened, but I still got in some pretty decent workouts despite some hurdles along the way.

I came into this race fresh off of a work trip, and also with a fresh pain in my knee.  I really wanted to run B2B this year, and I wasn't going to let a silly smack to my knee prevent me from starting -- and finishing -- this race.  So, I took a day off on Friday and hoped that some time off the legs would make it possible for me to race.  

I really wanted to run Bay to Breakers, no matter what, for numerous reasons.  First, I haven't raced in forever. I had a couple of key workouts leading into this race that indicated I was pretty fit.  Maybe not fast, but definitely strong.  Also, I wanted to represent the Strava Track Club / rabbit team.  I haven't worn the gear yet and Coach Dena has done so much for me, even though I don't even go to the Tuesday evening track practices.  I really wanted to race as my way of giving back and saying thank you for all that both groups have done to support my passion.  Finally, this is BAY TO BREAKERS.  San Francisco's oldest race.  With the MOST personality.  I mean, people run naked.   And you get to run across the entire city and end at the ocean.  In the end, my knee held up just fine and I raced hard.  

Everything leading up to the race was made seamless with the help of friends - Ozzie and Silvia who kindly gave up their apartment so Peter and I could stay there the night before, and also Athena, who let me shower at her place afterwards.  Race morning, Peter and I woke up, jogged three blocks from the apartment to the start line, where I met Heather and Tania to get a warmup in.  We jogged to the elite tent to drop our warmups, grabbed Amy, and did a mile out and back.  After some strides, a couple of bathroom breaks, we were finally at the start line.  Tania, Heather and I got interviewed by a news station before toeing the line.  

After the gun went off (was there actually a gun?  I don't know), after about 400 meters, I realized zero women were near me.  Crap.  I asked a dude who was part of a centipede what their goal pace was.  "5:20" he responded.  Crap Crap.  I immediately backed off and suddenly all the other women who should be running faster than me zipped by.  A handful of Africans, Jen Rhines, and a couple others.  I let them go. I needed to save my energy so I could haul past people on the downhill in golden gate park.  

At some point, Heather caught me and said, I'm here.  We ran together through the hardest part - the infamous Hayes Street Hill.  After cresting the top of the long hill, I urged my legs to move faster, but they refused.  The lactic acid build up was intense, so I realized that it would be best to be patient and wait for them to settle down and then start moving.  Around this time, I said let's go girl to Heather and continued on the ascent up to the top of Golden Gate Park.  
Running alongside heather on hayes hill
During this climb, a couple of guys were instrumental in helping me pick up the pace, and I latched onto them until the pace slowed.  That happened around the downhill portion through the park, so I moved on to find the next one to latch onto.  I noticed that an older gentleman was running the tangents like a champ, so I picked it up a bit to run alongside him and commented on his abilities.  We ended up finishing within seconds of one another.
trying to push the pace on the downhill
With about 2 miles to go, I noticed that I was gaining on Amy, but also Jen Rhines.  Jen had raced Bloomsday just 7 days before, so that explains why I was so close to her.  I knew that it was possible to catch Amy, but highly unlikely to catch Jen.  I set my sights on Amy's back, and with 1000 meters to go, had reeled her in.  I said some encouraging words to her, and continued on my way down to the finish.  I was pretty damn happy to finish because I was beginning to HURT and I was also happy with the result.   

Ultimately, this race brought several new experiences to me and now holds a very special place in my heart.  I completed my first Bay to Breakers, which is  a race that I've dreamed of running since I was in high school.  And, for the first time ever, Peter and I toed the same start line of a race and crossed the same finish line.  

 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

(Down) Week in Review

30 Miles
3 Days off
10M "long run"
2 days in LA

In an effort to ensure the knee doesn't flare up even more, Terry and I agreed to take three days off.  I also lifted twice this week, as I want to be sure to strengthen the quad and other tendons that attach around the knee cap.  I've never dealt with an injury to the kneecap, so I'm not sure what exercises would help it exactly, but I figure the general lifting exercises I already do can't hurt.

I flew out to LA this weekend to see my sister for a little bit before heading to Peter's sister's graduation from high school.  It was nice to run around the Bolsa Chica wetlands near my sister before heading up to Pacific Palisades for some graduation fun.  Not too much happened this week.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bay to Breakers (Week in Review)

46 Miles
7M workout fail
11M MLR with Meagan
1 day off
12K Race in 43:49 for 10th place overall with splits of 540, 555, 635, 603, 542, 530, 530, 2:29

This week was highlighted by both positive and negative things. Let's start first with the negative:

  1. After flying to Dallas for work, my kneecap felt terrible. Now I can feel it slightly when I run, and feel it even more when I run faster and get more leg lift.  It was definitely a bummer that my knee hurt after trying to straighten while sitting on the plane. 
  2. I completely bailed on my target 4 x 1.5M workout in Plano.  I did 2 miles of work and then threw in the towel.  I really, really want to be able to race and finish the Bay to Breakers race, so I decided it would be okay to be a wimp and to save my energy (and keep the knee strong) by bailing on the workout.
Now, on to the positive:
  1. I ran my first Bay to Breakers race and I was the second bay area female resident to finish!  I was hoping for first, but I think that one woman may have lied about where she *actually* lives.  Regardless, the race was incredible!  Peter and I got to start our first race together, I ran alongside Heather on the Hayes Street Hill, and I was able to snag some prize money in the process!  I hope to run this race every single year because it encapsulates the heart and soul of the city!
  2. My knee held up during the race! It was a little sore afterwards, but Terry and I decided to take a couple days off since we still have over 9 weeks until the SF Half.  



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Week in Review

63 Miles
11M with 4 x mile repeats at 545 (54 for 200m rest), 543 (80s for 300m rest), 539 (80 for 300m rest), 531
10.3M MLR
13.4M with 15x1 min on/ 2 min moderate for 7.4 miles in 6:04 average

On Tuesday of this week, I was still battling jet lag.  I really felt this dread that it would take a month to get over the dead feeling in my legs and my increased rate heart.  The mile repeats workout on Tuesday was good in that I got something in, but bad in that I felt terrible the whole time.  I wouldn't have guessed that just 4 days later I would have a long run that would make me think - oh! you're actually in decent shape.  The unexpected great ones are simply the best...I went in with absolutely no expectations and came out really pleased and excited about where my fitness is heading!

My knee did randomly start hurting midweek, but only when I walk down stairs.  I haven't felt it walking or running, but I'm nervous because it's near the top of my knee cap and if it hurts when I go downstairs, it's got to be inevitable that it will eventually hurt while running.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Week 2 in Europe

45 Miles
2 Days off
14M easy long run
3 days in Zurich
lots of jetlag

Nothing much to this week except that traveling back to California absolutely sucked.  It's way harder to adjust back to the time difference if you have to go straight to work and you don't get to sleep 14 hours (like I did the first night we arrived in Europe).  It's been a real struggle running the latter half of this week because my legs just feel dead.  My breathing also feels completely off.  I don't really get it.

Regardless, I'm super fortunate and grateful to have the means to travel to Europe and to be exposed to so many different cultures.  So happy that I was able to take this trip with Peter and Claire!!

Zurich

Vienna Wedding & Hot Date

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Week 1 in Europe

45 Miles
2 Days off
10M with 3 mile tempo in 608, 601, 551, 800m jog, 1M of 30s on/off in 552
14.6M with Michelle in Vienna
3 days in Amsterdam, 4 days in Vienna

This week can best be summed up with bullet points and pictures:

  • I'm proud of myself for doing an unplanned tempo in Amsterdam
  • Peter, Claire and I travel really well together.  We didn't plan a single thing and somehow everything worked out (except getting in to the Anne Frank house, which wasn't high on my list anyways!)
  • Tulips are pretty.
  • I'm grateful that Michelle flew to Vienna because not only did we get to catch up, but we also got to run 14 miles together on Saturday!





Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week in Review

55 Miles
8.2M with 15 x 1 min on/off
16M long run with 8M via 622, 622, 609, 618, 613, 606, 606, 559, 620, 633, 652 (cool down)
4 days in Plano
1 Day on a plane
1 Day in Amsterdam

What a whirlwind of a week!  I flew to Dallas to sort out stuff with my tech team.   I barely survived the humidity in Texas, and I barely got myself out of bed every morning to get a run in (it's soooo hard to wake up when the time difference makes it feel like 430AM cali time!).  Did I mention that I absolutely despise Plano?  I'm sure the people who live there are very nice.  But it's just so....vanilla?  Hot?  Boring?  Regardless, I get so much work done when I'm there since I'm able to bug the heck out of my tech partners to get answers quickly around features we're building for Erica.

While in Texas, I did 15 x 1 min on the 2 mile loop I found, with minimal traffic stops and just four sharp turns.  I felt like total garbage for the last 5 intervals and really fought off every inclination to cut the workout short.  However, I perservered and finished 15, which was the number that coach had outlined for me to do.  I didn't actually cool down because I was running behind getting in to the office (again, that damn time change) and basically finished the last interval and walked into the hotel.

After 4 long days in Plano, I prepped for a Friday long run with Jonah.  We were supposed to do 8 miles at 630 pace, but instead we were hovering around 615 pace so I figured, screw it, let's keep the pace honest and push even harder.  I am glad that we did this together, especially before I head out to Europe!